Vogel Street Kitchen

Lunch on the first of two rest days in lovely Dunedin. 

Yesterday’s ride of 124km was one of our hardest. Huge steep climbs to reach the coast road heading north eastward, so endlessly vertical that I almost reached my threshold of pedalling to keep the loaded bike moving. 

We’ve just weighed ourselves – myself at 72kg and Yasmin at 64kg – both losing around 10kg in 8 months of riding.


We’ve ridden to this lovely small town where we’ve camped in the Catlins Inn and are enjoying an evening in the pub. 

The guide book dismisses Owaka saying it’s a place to pass through on the way to the coast. However it has the Inn, a motel, library, museum, cafe, art gallery and supermarket. There are no other tourists and we’ve the tiny campsite to ourselves.

Pie 32

Very fancy and satisfying. 

A homemade beef and cheese pie and one of the best we’ve eaten. I hesitate to write that New Zealand is starting to edge Australia but the margins are tight and my memory poor. 

A Saturday lunch at the Westina Frog Cafe and Bar on the road through the Catlins Forest Park to Balclutha. A wet day but beautiful riding surrounded with bird song, tall trees and no traffic. 

Yesterday’s paper

At the risk of repeating myself we’ve only freedom camped once, some time ago at the Rai Valley community site, and decided afterwards not to do so again. It had space for 15 campers but 35 cars and 13 tents squeezed into the beautiful site the night we were there. 

Cars were jammed in all around our tiny tent and we were worried we might get squashed in the night as endlessly more vehicles drove up looking for any space to stay. 

The site had one drop toilet and no water although it was next to the river. In the night we had ‘battle of the acoustic guitar’ between France and Germany with us trying to sleep in the middle. There was then ‘car Jenga’ as friends turned up in more vehicles and people tried to repark making more space for their mates. 

It was dreadful. There were just too many people trying to ‘free load’ as the article implies. We’d hoped for some quiet wilderness camping but there was nothing of the sort.